Cryptocurrencies no longer see the limelight they once enjoyed a short while ago. At the time of writing, the current price of BTC has risen steadily, sparking new hope for a fresh bull run across all cryptocurrencies valuations. Blockchain week in NYC, with Consensus leading the show, has just come to a close. For many of those attendees that were truly paying attention and looking past the fluff and the hype saw the truth – crypto and blockchain still needs time to grow and mature before it will ever be mainstream-ready.
The truth remains the same – crypto and blockchain needs to improve the ease and accessibility of crypto and blockchain technology for it to become part of daily life for anyone, anywhere. However, it is impossible to ignore the telling signs that indicate major advancements, integrations, and partnerships which are leading the charge into the mainstream arena.
When analyzing the details more closely, the trail towards success becomes clearer.
The journey to the mainstream has begun.
Crypto is becoming more usable in the real world
The crypto world saw its first “mainstream” success when CryptoKitties saw over 15K users using its tradable token-cards, daily. That number today is significantly lower at 250 users on average per day. Lots have projects have made lots of promises and even saw brief success, but these are not the real-world use cases that will take the technology to the next level.
AirBNB has partnered with gift card provider Bitrefill to allow people to book Airbnb rentals with five different cryptocurrencies. This came only a few months after Starbucks and Bakkt announced their partnerships allowing customers to pay for their coffee with Bitcoin, a service that could see the most immediate mainstream potential – but most people are not willing to part with their crypto, because its fluctuating value can be far more lucrative to hold on to (HODL!). There is no shortage of strategic partnerships either, as a new Whatsapp service is allowing for Bitcoin and Litecoin crypto transfers using the encrypted messaging service (owned by Facebook).
Even Visa has formed an association with TenX to provide a crypto credit card that facilitates payments in fiat and is backed by cryptocurrencies. Additionally, Visa has also teamed up with Coinbase for the Coinbase Card to “spend crypto anywhere”. Most of these projects are currently in the works, but no one is active with enough user traffic to support those specific services.
The big businesses in the crypto sandbox
Some of the worlds largest organizations like Facebook, Ernst & Young, Visa, Mastercard and AirBNB are playing in the crypto sandbox, learning how they can take advantage of the bleeding edge technology. Most of their work is not yet ready for public-use but it gets closer every day.
Facebook is onboarding elite professionals and developers to expand their blockchain and crypto teams. They are expected to be the driving force behind mainstream adoption with a new Facebook Coin. In May 2019, Facebook also eased the restriction on crypto and blockchain ads within their social network, after over a year of banning all related advertisements.
Fortune 500 companies are also playing along, with Ernst & Young spending millions on their new blockchain and cryptocurrency audit and tax services. At Consensus 2019, Amazon announced its “Blockchain-as-a-Service” on AWS, and even won a patent for a new Proof-of-Work cryptographic system. There is also speculation that online retail giant may make a marketplace coin, which is dramatically piquing investors interest. Another F5 company, Avnet, a global electronic components and services distributor, will be accepting crypto payments through their partnership with BitPay, a crypto payments processor.
When looking at the volume of news and announcements of new partnerships, investments, integrations and more, the crypto and blockchain sphere is growing more innovative, practical and even more useful. The crypto world is seeing more traditional companies and businesses make strategic relationships with new crypto companies and projects, establishing new ways to bring crypto to the masses to offer real world use cases that are truly relevant.
The crypto universe has already experienced its own “big bang”, and now that all the fragments are beginning to intersect and impact each other, it is forever changing the face of this evolving industry. In the very near future, the entire world will be engaging or utilizing blockchain and crypto, where society will witness the dream and promise of crypto being fulfilled. Not today, and maybe not tomorrow – but the time is approaching faster than most realize and one day people will wake up and realize the technology is all around them.